I AM LEGEND (15)
D: Francis Lawrence
Warner Bros. (James Lassiter, David Heyman, Neal H.
Moritz & Akiva Goldsman)
W: Akiva Goldsman & Mark Protosevich [based on
the novel by Richard Matheson]
DP: Andrew Lesnie
Ed: Wayne Wahrman
Mus: James Newton Howard
PD: Naomi Shohan
Will Smith (Dr. Robert Neville), Alice Braga (Anna Montez),
Charlie Tahan (Ethan), Emma Thompson (Dr. Alice Krippin)
Will Smith is the last man on Earth, roaming a desolate New
York City with his dog, listening to Bob Marley on his iPod (product placement, y'see) and evading capture by CGI beasties which were vampires in Richard Matheson's original novel but only
director Francis Lawrence knows what the hell they're supposed to be in this.
Matheson's has had a number of big screen adaptations, from
1969's The Omega Man to a New Zealand variation on the story in 1985 called The Quiet Earth. There are umpteen apocalyptic disaster movies better than this. Will Smith doesn't do a bad job
carrying the first half of the film entirely on his own (with dog and Bob Marley, of course), but the film completely falls to shit when a female character is introduced. Seems a bit chauvinistic
Though a regular filmviewer may not
realise, the final act deviates enormously from the ending of Richard Matheson's book, mostly due to studio involvement who wanted to push the film in a more familiar route for a mass audience.
Unfortunately, this results in the actual meaning of the story being lost in favour of the visual clichés, rather than standing for a moral that can be pondered and debated. I don't want to get
into spoiler territory by explaining in detail, but recommend that the book be read instead. The
less said about the atrocious visual effects, the better. There simply is no excuse for a big budget summer blockbuster to have CGI so poorly executed.